Mariners appoint Walmsley after 'scaling the globe'

Central Coast Mariners have confirmed that technical director Tony Walmsley has been appointed head coach for the struggling Gosford outfit.

The club said after scouring the globe for the best candidate they found him right on their own doorstep.

Walmsley, who has held the job on an interim basis since the sacking of Phil Moss, has been given the green light for the 2015/16 season.

He will start the role on a permanent basis from May 1. The Mariners are sitting 8th on the A-League ladder with no hope of making the finals with just two games remaining in the regular season.

In a statement on the Mariners’ website, the club said they had undertaken a global search for the right candidate to take the yellow and navy forward.

The club’s player recruitment policy will remain the same under his charge - to identify players for development, who can contribute on the pitch and be sold on.

The club’s senior management said they wanted a candidate guaranteeing “attacking, free flowing and entertaining football”.

“Entertainment, vision, flair, innovation, training methods and the introduction of young players into the club’s football department along with recruitment of players who can fit into this mantra has led the club to decide that Walmsley is the key to the Mariners’ football moving forward,” the statement read.

Central Coast Mariners Owner, Mike Charlesworth said the brief was to source a Head Coach with an excellent track record in youth development who also understands that as a business we need to change our focus towards one of entertainment over and above anything. 

“With such a small population base over a large geographical area we need to do something special next season to attract new fans and bring some of the old ones back,” Charlesworth said.

“Without fear of failure we simply have to innovate and entertain and I believe Tony has both the understanding of this task and the experience to see this challenge through successfully.

The club said it ran the rule over a raft of candidates both internationally and domestically before deciding the former Head of Recruitment at Sheffield United was the right man to deliver.

“We interviewed a select number of candidates but ultimately, Tony’s international experience in youth development, belief in the new football philosophy and passion to entertain were key factors in appointing him as the club’s permanent head coach,” Executive Vice Chairman, Peter Storrie said.

“Tony’s understanding of the Mariners’ culture, having been involved with the club for many years also played a part in the decision making process.”

Walmsley said he was honoured to be named the club's fourth head coach and ensured fans and members he was ready for Season 11 of the A-League.

“Coaching in the Hyundai A League is the aspiration of a many coaches, both here and overseas,” Walmsley said.

“It comes with an incredible responsibility and at a time when sustainability is demanded as the league continues to evolve.

“When Peter Storrie asked if I would consider taking the head coach role at the Mariners I needed to weigh up the opportunity carefully.

“It is an honour to be invited to take on the role, but I needed to be clear about my commitment to success, identify what success looks like and how I can make a difference.

“The club's mantra is entertainment, youth and community. As Technical Director I was brought in to deliver a football program aligned to the commercial objectives of the club. This means a recruitment charter that identifies players with embedded talent that can be identified, contribute on the pitch, developed and sold. No hiding behind it - something to celebrate.

“As Head Coach I'm interested in exposing players to a style that stretches them beyond where they think their capabilities are and to get the staff to buy into the broader vision. Can we be more resilient, yet more expressive? Pretty on the eye? Courageous on the ball, can we be recognised for innovation?

“The Mariners are a fantastic club with a great history. I worked under Lawrie McKinna and Graham Arnold across five seasons before realising a personal goal to work in professional football in the UK with Sheffield United. I've remained curious throughout almost thirty coaching years across a broad set of experiences with some great people.

“So my time has arrived to make a commitment to the members and fans to provide an environment where the players love coming to work. Where their spirit, joy and passion for playing football is captured in the essence of how we play. I'm thrilled to be the 4th Head Coach in Mariners history. Bring on season 11.”

The Mariners will round off their 2014/15 A-League campaign proceedings with two tough away games against Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory respectively.